As mentioned in last month’s “Tuesday Top 10: Heroes” post, the book-to-film adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s exceptional Harry Potter series are at the top of my all-time favourite films list! This series has always been the standard I base all other book-to-film adaptations off of, as the characters, storylines, and settings of the wizarding world in the books is excellently portrayed on screen.
Also, as all hardcore HP fans know, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is releasing in November. Therefore, I have chosen to reread the seven book novel series and will be releasing an individual post for each adaptation throughout the summer! These “Pottermania” posts will differ from previous CCC “Book-to-Film Adaptations” as they are for HP fans who have already seen the films and/or read the books and are looking to relive the magic!
Just as a short refresher … this is the film that little 11-year-old Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) finds out he’s not a regular boy but a wizard. Also, he is the sole reason that the Wizarding World came out of the dark ages as he defeated an evil wizard as a baby! You’d think that would be a lot to take in as a child but with the help of the gigantic kind-hearted Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) Harry heads to Diagon Alley gets himself a wand, owl, robes, and other supplies and then ships off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In no time at all he has two best friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), as well as a mortal enemy Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton). Harry is sorted into Gryffindor, becomes the youngest Quidditch seeker in a century, learns some spells, and how to play wizard’s chess!
Things take a turn after the trio accidentally come across a three-headed dog protecting a trap door. They figure out it’s guarding the Philosopher Stone, and end up suffering detention as a result of the methods (constant visits to Hagrid’s hut) used to gather their discovery. After their visit to the dark forest they soon conclude that Voldemort needs the stone to come back and believe that the unfriendly Professor Snape (Alan Rickman) is going to steal it. The three decide they have to steal it first so they puzzle their way through several “protection” tasks and get Harry to the end where he faces off against … Professor QUIRRELL!! So, Quirrell not Snape, has secretly had Voldemort on the back of his head the entire semester. After Harry burns him to ash by touching him (special mother’s love skin), he and the crew are awarded much needed points for Gryffindor (yay Neville!), so they not only save the world but win the House Cup!
Now that we’re all on the same page, I’m going to dive a little bit deeper into my favourite parts of the film as well as any major plots changes from the book!
- I along with majority of the rest of the Harry Potter fan base absolutely adore Rubeus Hagrid! Robbie Coltrane truly brings the gentle giant to life on the big screen with his continuous “I shouldn’t have said that” slipped secrets to the little ones. Also, his two entrances of landing his motorcycle at Privet Drive as well as slamming down the door at the Dursley’s hideout were glorious!
- Neville Longbottom is the most precious characters in the series as he is a clumsy but kind-hearted boy who always falls a tad short with his attempt at magic. However, when he stands up to the three main Gryffindors he shows a massive amount of bravery and courage. I always feel horrible when Hermione stuns him!
- Firenze the Centaur was an absolute boss in the book and the film, which was evident in his glorious galloping entrance! Firenze is a key element for the book and the film as he helps Harry connect the dots regarding the Philosopher’s Stone and the potential return of Voldemort.
- One major change from the book to the film is the complexity involved in getting rid of Norbert the baby dragon on Hagrid’s behalf. In the book, when Draco saw that Hagrid had the dragon he did not go directly to Professor McGonagall. Ron came up with the idea to send Norbert to his brother Charlie, and they had to sneak around with the invisibility cloak to have him picked up. However, they were caught right after they got rid of Norbert because they accidentally forgot the cloak up on the roof. I feel that the way it was handled in the movie made more sense as all four of them got detention at the same time and Dumbledore took care of Norbert on their behalf.
- Another major change from book to film had to do with the challenges protecting the Philosopher’s Stone. There were two extra challenges in the book, which were connected to Professor Snape and Professor Quirrell. Snape’s challenge was a logic test with clues, potions, and walls of fire, which Hermione aced in under five minutes. Quirrell’s challenge was a giant troll and the trio didn’t have to do anything as he was already knocked out at that point. It made sense for timing purposes to cut these out, but it added more excitement to the ending sequence of the book!
1. “Now if you two don’t mind, I’m going to be before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed – or worse, expelled!” – Hermione Granger
2. “Harry, no way! You heard what Madam Hooch said. Besides, you don’t even know how to fly … what an idiot!” – Hermione Granger
3. “Lucky we didn’t panic.” – Ron Weasley “Lucky Hermione pays attention in Herbology.” – Harry Potter
4. [Calmly] “Sorry about that” – Hagrid [Picks door up slams it back into place]
5. “I think we’ve had a bad influence on her.” – Ron Weasley
6. “Stop stop stop! You’re going to take someone’s eye out. Besides, you’re saying it wrong. It’s LeviOsa, not LeviosAR!” – Hermione Granger
7. “I was most unfortunate in my youth to come across a vomit-flavoured one, and since then I’m afraid I’ve lost my liking for them. But, I think I could be safe with a nice toffee … Mm, alas, earwax.” – Albus Dumbledore
8. “I checked this out weeks ago for a bit of light reading.” – Hermione Granger “This is light?” – Ron Weasley
9. “You’re a wizard, Harry!” – Hagrid
10. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends. I award 10 points, to Mr. Neville Longbottom.” – Albus Dumbledore
As usual I have included a few extra items for those who read all the way too the end! The first is a link to the magical online portal of Pottermore, the second is a hilarious Buzzfeed article, and a video of all the deleted scenes from the film!
Join Pottermore to get sorted into one of the HP houses, practice spells, create potions, and compete for the House Cup!
Also, I had to include the article below which is a hilarious sequence of tweets and film descriptions by a Buzzfeed writer who watched Harry Potter for the first time and noted all of the best parts throughout his experience!
Lastly, don’t forget to check out all the deleted scenes from the first film in the link below!